Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup

Please sharePin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on YummlyShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup

The Chinese have a whole range of sweet soups. Known as tong sui in Cantonese, these soups are usually served at the end of a meal. They are light and refreshing making them wonderful low fat summer desserts. Most are served warm but some are delicious chilled.

Mung beans, also known as green beans are small cylindrical beans with a bright green color. They can be used whole, split, or hulled. Whole beans are usually boiled. They are also germinated to produce bean sprouts. Split and hulled mung beans are light yellow in color and often made into a paste for pancakes or filling. Mung bean starch is extracted to make transparent cellophane noodles, also known as bean threads or glass noodles.

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup is considered cooling and is very easy to prepare. They cook a little faster than red or adzuki beans. The addition of pandan leaves, sago, and coconut milk is a Southeast Asian enhancement to the Chinese original. Please also check out my Sweet Red Bean Soup recipe.

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 38 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup


  • 1 cup (220g) mung beans, rinsed and soaked for at least 2 hours, drained
  • ¾ cup (135g) brown sugar**
  • 6 cups (1.5liters) water
  • 2 pandan leaves, rinsed and knotted
  • ½ cup (40g) sago or tapioca pearls, soaked for 10 minutes, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (240ml) coconut milk


In a large pot, combine mung beans, brown sugar, water, and pandan leaves. Bring to a boil, recude heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until mung bean splits open. Add sago pearls and coconut milk. Simmer for another 8 minutes or until sago pearls turn translucent. Add a little water if soup gets too thick.

Serve warm or chilled.


**Please adjust sweetness according to taste.


I like my Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup warm but it is also delicious chilled.

Sweet Mung Bean and Sago Soup

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)

Please sharePin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on YummlyShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

56 Responses

  1. Gertrude says:

    My mom used to make this sweet soup for us and she will add gula melaka to it. Seeing yours makes me crave for some :)

  2. Anncoo says:

    Biren, this is my favorite too! I found you can cook many yummy “thong shui” to my liking :) I must wait at your door step everyday :)

  3. Shilpa says:

    Never tried a sweet soup before… I like the sound of green beans, so will give this a go too.. sounds really interesting! I love sago…In India we have it cooked with potatoes and peanuts as savoury and with milk and sugar for a dessert. I’ll have to give this soup a go.


  4. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Love the healthy and filling lentil soup!

  5. Adora's Box says:

    I love this, Biren. My husband likes it with coconut milk. I like it with milk. Comfort food.

  6. Wow, I have never had anything quite like this, especially for dessert! I loved reading about it. Thanks.

  7. tigerfish says:

    Mung bean is cooling for summer while red bean warms us up during winter. This is good summer tong sui :)

  8. This is one of three kinds of sweet soups at my favorite Chinese restaurant that offers as a dessert. I prefer red beans but I still like this one too! Yummy!! You know everything I want to eat. :-)

    • Biren says:

      Both the red bean and mung bean soups are delicious. Red beans are considered warming while green beans are cooling and usually eaten when it is hot outside. :)

  9. Kay Ecker says:


    I’ve never had soup like this. It looks so good! I’d never heard of Sago too, thanks for the education:-). Your photo came out beautifully!


    • Biren says:

      Sago pearls are similar to tapioca pearls and can be used interchangeably although they are made from different starches. Sago is extracted from the sago palm.

  10. msihua says:

    That looks delicious! I grew up on a lot of tong sui!! :)

  11. Jeannie says:

    This is another sweet soup that reminds me of childhood days! Unfortunately my boys are not into this so I don’t get to eat this as often as I would like.

  12. prathibha says:

    loved d bowls,soup n presentation…looks yumm

  13. this looks good we have similar sweet soup with mung bean
    this looks flavourful delicious

  14. Blackswan says:

    Didn’t know this is called mung bean soup :) We just call it green bean soup & hubby loves this. Have u tried adding rice in it? Some people add little grains of rice into this dessert.

    • Biren says:

      Some ingredients are named differently here. I used to call it green beans too. :)

      No, I have never tried addig rice to it. I imagine it must be like a porridge.

  15. This looks so interesting, I want to try it! Biren you are always introducing me to great new dishes.

  16. Biren, thank you for sharing this: I have so much to learn about Chinese cuisine. This sweet soup looks so different – I’d love to try it, warm or cold sounds equally fabulous.

  17. Hi Biren :)

    Green bean soup is hubby’s favourite Asian sweet soup/porridge. He loves it with santan, but I prefer it plain, scented with lots of pandan of course! The texture of your beans looks absolutely perfect. I would love a chilled bowl right now – it’s a sweltering afternoon *phew*

    • Biren says:

      Hi Denise! So good of you to visit. I missed you and I hope you are doing well. :)

      The weather here continues to be unpredictable. Spring was cold and this summer has been exceptionally rainy. I needed something familiar and this dessert came to mind. This is my mom’s concoction with coconut milk and sago and I love it. Boys are not too keen on tong sui but I’m making it for me. Oh, I can imagine the sweltering tropical heat. Just thinking of it makes me perspire. Definitely a chilled version is preferred over there.

  18. I never knew how this was made – my dad loves this stuff!

  19. Joanne says:

    I really love the idea of soup as dessert! This sounds incredibly delicious!

  20. Peggy says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever made/eaten a soup with mung beans, but this sounds absolutely delicious! Definitely the perfect thing for a hot summer day =)

  21. Hmmmm…I love sweet mung bean soup. In the Philippines, we use evaporated milk. Haven’t tried it with sago, but I’m sure it tastes even better.

  22. kristy says:

    You just tempted me to make some tong sui tomorrow. Yummm…. Have a lovely day.

  23. One of the must-have in hot and humid summer days after an afternoon nap!

  24. Lyn says:

    This is one of my favs sweet soup and I always cook this at home if the weather gets too humid or when my hubby or girls had too much heaty food. I don’t add coconut milk but will add some sweet potatoes sometimes if I can get nice ones from the wet market :)
    Hey Biren, I think we’re somehow quite alike when it comes to food! I love my mung bean soup hot when just cooked and chilled when the whole pot had cooled down! :D

  25. This looks very interesting, I’ve never had it before. Do you eat it as a dessert? It would be fun to try!

  26. I love mung bean and know I would love this soup! I had something once I believe was similar but it was awhile back and I never tried to recreate it, but this I must :)

  27. rebecca says:

    great soup hubby loves mung dal nice to see a new way of preparing it

  28. Parsley Sage says:

    This is pretty cool! I’ve never had a dessert soup before. Looks pretty easy to do too :) Thanks for sharing!

  29. Lisa H. says:

    ahhhhhh….Mung beans porridge… my all time favourite.
    I love everything with mung beans…

  30. Manu says:

    Such an innovative dessert! I have never had sweet soup like this! It sounds delicious and healthy! Thanks for sharing it Biren! :-)

  31. purabi naha says:

    Biren, really?! I didn’t know that something like this even exists…we have the usual “dal” always…but this sweet soup sounds so unique!

  32. Tiffany says:

    How interesting! Sounds yummy… also what are pandan leaves?

  33. One of my family’s favourites! Love it warm and good when cold too!
    Looks delicious!

  34. Yummm…This is often eaten during Ramadan in Indonesia when people break the fasting. My family used to add jackfruit, banana, buah atap/atap seed and sweet potato or squash :)

  35. Biren, I haven’t had this in a while because I’m waiting for my mum to make it! Can you believe after years of eating this lovely dessert, I have yet to cook it myself? I like it with both pandan and santan flavors, and I like to eat it cold ;-). Gotta call my mum….

  36. I love sweet mung bean soup though I’ve never tried sago in it. Great idea!

  37. Ruby says:

    So interesting! Looking at it, I have a hard time imagining that it’s sweet. So different from anything I’ve ever tried – very intriguing. :-)4hd7

    • Biren says:

      This is my goto dessert when I need something sweet and warm. It is especially good with the coconut milk and sago. The coconut milk is actually optional but I much prefer to add it in.

  38. Ruby says:

    4hd7 was the captcha code. No idea how it jumped onto the comment form… ;-)

  39. I love mung bean but I haven’t tried it sweet. Though we have a sweet version too but I don’t know why i haven’t tried it so far.
    Im sure I will like this kind too.


  40. vanessa says:

    how can i tell if the sugar is gula melaka? I live in canada and gula melaka is hard to find!

    • Biren says:

      Gula Melaka usually comes in solid cylinders but unfortunately it is hard to tell if it is not labeled. Any palm sugar or brown sugar would work for this recipe.

  41. sailaja says:

    Any substitute for pandan leaves as i don’t have?

    • Biren says:

      I am afraid there is no substitute for pandan in this particular recipe. You can certainly omit it totally and it will still taste good though not as fragrant.

  42. This is my favorite, very famous in Indonesia. I always made this at least once a week, perfect for anytime :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>